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Elna Mouton

This book is concerned with the integrity of biblical studies and its relevance for forming moral people, transforming a moral society, and informing moral decision-making and action. It focuses on the dynamic yet complex nature of the moral discourse of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians by exploring its literary, historical and rhetorical dimensions, and concludes by describing its potential to facilitate change as the ability to disclose a radically new perspective on reality. Mouton persuasively demonstrates the dynamic interaction between exegesis and ethics, and between theory and praxis, that is present in Paul’s theology. Ephesians invites present day Christian communities to reorient themselves continuously to its liberating, healing vision of God in and through the exalted Christ and the Spirit, and to creatively appropriate this vision in changing circumstances.

Paperback edition is available from the Society of Biblical Literature (www.sbl-site.org)

The Bible in/and Popular Culture

A Creative Encounter

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Edited by Philip Culbertson and Elaine Wainwright

In popular culture, the Bible is generally associated with films: The Passion of the Christ, The Ten Commandments, Jesus of Montreal, and many others. Less attention has been given to the relationship between the Bible and other popular media such as hip-hop, reggae, rock, and country and western music; popular and graphic novels; animated television series; and apocalyptic fantasy. This collection of essays explores a range of media and the way the Bible features in them, applying various hermeneutical approaches, engaging with critical theory, and providing conceptual resources and examples of how the Bible reads popular culture—and how popular culture reads the Bible. This useful resource will be of interest for both biblical and cultural studies. The contributors are Elaine M. Wainwright, Michael Gilmour, Mark McEntire, Dan W. Clanton Jr., Philip Culbertson, Jim Perkinson, Noel Leo Erskine, Tex Sample, Roland Boer, Terry Ray Clark, Steve Taylor, Tina Pippin, Laura Copier, Jaap Kooijman, Caroline Vander Stichele, and Erin Runions.

The Curve of the Sacred

An Exploration of Human Spirituality

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Constantin V. Ponomareff and Kenneth A. Bryson

This interdisciplinary book examines the nature of spirituality and the role it plays in the search for meaning. Spirituality is a loving tendency towards the sacred. In a secular environment, the sacred is taken to be a power greater than self. In a religious environment, the Sacred refers to God, or Higher Power. The book examines the developments of the s/Sacred in great works of art and literature, as well as in medicine, theology, psychology, philosophy, and religion. Spirituality also functions as an unloving tendency towards disunity, or a force for evil.
The first part of the book examines the ways of the spiritual as a force for good and evil. We have just witnessed one of the bloodiest centuries in human history. The experience of two World Wars leaves a legacy of brokenness: “Where Nossack’s reminiscences bore poetic, compassionate, and personal witness to the disaster, Eliot’s poetry reads more like a sacred and religious poem taking contemporary Western European civilization to task—much like the biblical prophets of old—for its spiritual bankruptcy.” Albert Einstein, Edvard Munch’s Madonna, and Carl Jung’s ‘unconscious’ touch the curve of the Sacred in more promising places.
The second part examines how the search for meaning works. The distinction between being human and being a person plays a central role in the life of the spiritual; “…the spiritual is manifest in the activities taking place in the central self. The central self is the locus of all thoughts, feelings, acts of reason and judgment, conscious and unconscious processes alike. The central self is the place where social relationships and environmental relationships are processed. The essential feature of the central self is that it does not exist outside these processes.” The same spiritual energies that light up great works of art also light up our destructive side, only the associations’ change.

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Edited by W.F. Bynum and V. Nutton

Therapeutics has been central to the medical enterprise in all times and all places, but a subject that is all too often neglected by historians. The essays in this volume follow a range in chronology from antiquity to the 1980s and in geography from the Mediterranean Basin to the New World. They touch on such matters as diet and drugs, magic and surgery, orthodox and unorthodox approaches. What they share is an attempt to get beyond the easy dismissal of almost all therapeutics before the twentieth century as meaningless and harmful and to examine concrete dimensions of the therapeutic encounter in its social, professional, religious and scientific reverberations.

Ancient Medicine in Its Socio-Cultural Context, Volume 2

Papers Read at the Congress Held at Leiden University, 13-15 April 1992

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Edited by H.F.J. Horstmanshoff, Philip J. van der Eijk and P.H. Schrijvers

This collection of papers – some of which written by the world’s leading specialists in the area of ancient medicine – aims at promoting an integrated approach to medical theory and practice in classical antiquity. Questions of health and disease are considered in their relation to the social, intellectual, moral and religious dimensions of the ancient world. The papers focus on the socio-cultural setting of the experience of pain and illness, the different reactions they provoked and the importance that was attached to this experience in literature, religion and philosophy.
The first volume offers articles (from an archaeological, historical and philological point of view) dealing with social, institutional and geographical aspects of medical practice. It also has a special section on medical views on women, children and sexuality, and on female medical activity.
The second volume focuses on the ways in which religious and magical beliefs influenced the experience of, and the attitude towards, illness and medical practice. It also deals with the relations of medicine with philosophy, and the other sciences and with the variety of linguistic and textual forms in which medical knowledge was expressed and communicated.

Contributors to the second volume are Darrel W. Amundsen, Angelos Chaniotis, Philip J. van der Eijk, Elsa García Novo, Burkhard Gladigow, Richard Gordon, Katerina Ierodiakonou, Alberto Jori, Karl-Heinz Leven, James Longrigg, Harm Pinkster, I. Rodríguez Alfageme, Ineke Sluiter, Heinrich von Staden, Gilles Susong, Teun Tieleman, and M. Vegetti.

Inlets of the Soul

Contemporary Fiction in English and the Myth of the Fall

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Pierre François

The relationship of myth to literature has largely been overshadowed in contemporary theory by perspectives of a linguistic or sociological orientation and by relativist, sometimes negatory, stances on all searches for meaning. This book attempts to show that myth criticism and critical theories of more recent provenance are not irreconcilable. While taking into consideration some of the more influential tenets of structuralist, post-structuralist, Marxist and feminist theory, it applies a post-Jungian ('archetypal') approach to illustrating the perennial nature of a particular myth (the Fall of Man) in two main traditions (Mesopotamian and Christian) and in the contemporary novel in English.
The discussions of five major novels by William Golding, Patrick White, Martin Amis, Salman Rushdie, and Wilson Harris not only serve to expand the mythological insights achieved in the first part of the book; they also suggest the incommensurability of imaginal, novelistic life with mythology's age-old intuitions about the human condition.
Myth criticism emerges from this book as an irreplaceable vantage-point from which man's lapsarian predicament can be scrutinized synchronically as archaic wisdom, contemporary anxiety, and post-colonial commitment to the building of a new human city.

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Antoon Vergote

In this volume we have brought together some of the most important contributions of Antoon Vergote to the field of what is now called 'clinical psychology of religion'. Most of these contributions were not published before in English. They cover the field in two ways. On the one hand we selected some articles in which Vergote reflects about the foundations of the (clinical) psychology of religion. This first part of the book is about the psychoanalytic and philosophical-anthropological approach of some major topics in the study of religion : e.g. mythical thinking and symbolisation, moral law and the idea of sin, religious experience... . In this part we also included a critical reflection about the classic psychoanalytic criticism of religion and about the epistemology and the limits of the psychology of religion. The second part, on the other hand, contains clinical-empirical and psycho-historical studies about concrete religious phenomena. The first section of this part is, amongst other topics, about the psychological approach of the person Jesus, about the psychological profile of the priest and, about some aspects of folk religiosity. The second section deals with problems in the field of mental health and religion : the differentiation of true and false mysticism, religion and psychopathology and a psychological approach of the experience of visions and apparitions.

"New" Exoticisms

Changing Patterns in the Construction of Otherness

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Edited by Isabel Santaolalla

All civilisations have both feared and been fascinated by what lies beyond their limits, and have to a greater or lesser extent construed their “others” as exotics. Given that, even in its most consumerist fashion, the adoption of the exotic goes back a long way, what, then —if anything— is new in contemporary versions of exoticism? This volume attempts to offer some answers to this question. The first of its three sections serves as an extended introduction to the concept and practice of exoticism, considering the phenomenon from a number of theoretical and critical positions, explicitly examining —sometimes via significant examples— the particular attributes of exoticism. The second and third sections are more strictly text-based, relying on the analysis of specific instances of film in the former and literature in the latter, in order to tease out some specific uses of the exotic –whether ethnic, gendered, sexual or other. This volume will be of interest to scholars and students working in the fields of representation, cultural theory, postcolonialism, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, cinema and literature.